Employees Need Vacations and Random Acts of Kindness

Yesterday a blog post from Full Contact came to my attention. Full Contact pays their employees a vacation bonus of $7,500.

There are a few rules that come with that money:

  1. You have to go on vacation, or you don’t get the money.
  2. You must disconnect.
  3. You can’t work while on vacation.

This spurred in me a discussion that I had at Boulder Open Coffee Club this morning (#BOCC.)

I brought to the crowd, how when I ran Conversify, I originally thought it was in my best interest and that of my employees to maximize the money I gave to them, so no bonuses or benefits, but rather as much cold hard cash as I could get them within the confines of their role with the company.

I came to discover that wasn’t really a great idea. While it might be in their best interest, it wasn’t as endearing as providing them gifts or rewards.

While I was at Conversify, I read a wonderful book by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton about employee appreciation and recognition called, “The Orange Revolution.” (Found on Carrots.com.) / I learned that bonuses should be:

  • Frequent—could be weekly
  • Not just be money—a Thank You goes a long way
  • Custom—George loves Scotch, but Sammy is more of a tea drinker
  • Relative to the size of contribution of the employee— If they save your company $1 million, they’re getting an all expense paid trip to Tahiti for them and 12 of their friends!

At #bocc this morning, several people mentioned studies that said employees are actually happier with random gifts as well. My thought is that randomness leads almost to the endorphin rush that we get when gambling. So, does anyone thing there is an opportunity for gamification here?

What other ways do you reward your employees successfully?

Love to hear your thoughts!

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2 Responses to Employees Need Vacations and Random Acts of Kindness

  1. Welcome to #Bocc! I hadn’t realized that bunchball and badgeville do this sort of stuff already. VERY interesting. I’ll check them out.

  2. Today was my first #BOCC and it was great! Already looking at starting a local OCC. I agree that randomness is great and to your point on gamification, I know some of the big gamificaiton platforms (bunchball, badgeville, etc) – target the larger enterprises for internal gamification/rewards. Would seem like a good niche for someone to have a smaller scale, easy to implement solution for startups, etc.

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